Tony Thornton: A Celebration of a Life (live-stream)

Crucible Playhouse, Sheffield
Saturday 10 July 2021, 7.00pm
Online event
This Was Available Until 24 July 2021


Welcome: James Thornton

The Gesualdo Six
Morley “Now is the month of maying” 2’
Byrd “Vigilate” 4.30’
Praetorius “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” 3’

Eulogies: Michael Thornton, Simon and Mark Thornton

Sarah Fox and Tim Horton
Schubert Die Forelle 2’
Schubert Auf dem See 3.30’

Ensemble 360 and Tim Horton
Schubert Trout Quintet
Thema: Andantino Variations 1-5 Allegretto 8.22’
Finale: Allegro giusto 6.45’

Eulogies: Paul Allen and David Whelton

Sarah Fox and Tim Horton
Mozart “E Susanna non vein! …Dove sono i bei momenti” The Marriage of Figaro 5.15’

Ensemble 360
Beethoven String Quartet in A minor Op.132
Molto Adagio “Heileger Dankgesang eines Genesenden” 16’
Alla Marcia, assai vivace – Pui allegro 2.20’
Allegro appassionato – Presto 6.50’

Tony had wide ranging musical tastes. He always said that it was Peter Cropper, the visionary leader of the Lindsay String Quartet, who introduced him to the joys of chamber music in the early 1970s.

This evening’s programme features three composers who were perhaps most important for Tony: Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven. 

Schubert song recitals were always a highlight for Tony, especially at the Wigmore Hall, as were also Mozart’s operas, which brought him so much pleasure on his annual visits to Glyndebourne.

I know he would be delighted at the prospect of Sarah Fox and Tim performing for us tonight. Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.132 was perhaps the piece that meant most to Tony, especially the great Molto adagio movement, which is one of the supreme moments in all music, a work of great contemplation and intensity. The clue may lie in its heading ‘Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen’ (‘Holy song of thanksgiving’). The beautiful Mayfield Valley was a favourite spot for Tony to walk and cycle and he commissioned Tim Rose to paint this landscape with The Lindsays playing the Op.132 hidden in the clouds.

It is to Delma Tomlin we owe Tony’s interest in early music and the National Centre for Early Music. It is therefore fitting for this evening’s concert to open with a welcome from The Gesualdo Six singing a selection of madrigals from the 16th and 17th centuries.   

David Whelton OBE

Download the concert programme notes